By Providence Crowder
Ok, here’s the story. I was born and raised a Democrat. As odd as “being born a Democrat” may sound, that statement is as true as it is tragic. Both my parents were, my aunts and uncles were, and every influential adult in my life proclaimed to be . . . a Democrat. I hadn’t considered questioning why because politics didn’t interest me much. I inherently knew that I was one, and when I became of voting age, the fundamental rule was that I must vote the party line all the way down the voting ticket. Why Democrat, you may ask? Because all black people, as far as I was told, voted Democrat. And since I was black, that made me Democrat. So when I turned 18 years of age, I registered to vote and voted as any good black American would. I followed the example of those around me and saddled that Democrat donkey every election Tuesday without understanding the issues, without learning the party platforms, and without a thorough assessment of the candidates. Heck, I didn’t even care to know such things; I just wanted the Democrats to win the election against those “racist” Republicans that I had been taught were against black people. I wanted the rich to pay their fair share like we, the poor and working class Americans, were. I didn’t even mind a little redistribution of wealth when it came to someone else’s fortune, as long as mine was left alone.
MY CHRISTIAN ROOTS
Moreover, my Christian roots ran deeper than my Democratic ones. I was raised in a strongly conservative Christian home, and even though for a time I had strayed, I eventually grew to know and love Christ on my own as an adult. Christianity became no longer my parent’s religion, but MY faith, MY conviction, MY choice. I eventually began to seek godliness in all areas of my life; work, home, recreation . . . in everything. My Christian worldview even caused me to, for the first time, examine my politics.
Upon a closer examination of my party, I learned that most of the Democratic Party’s platform stood against many biblical moral standards. Generally, they rejected the biblical definition of marriage and they overwhelmingly supported abortion. I learned that more often than not, when I voted for a Democratic candidate, I was voting against my family values. That troubled me greatly and I began to question my loyalty to the party; and after I began to make my way through college and learn a little about economics, I discovered that the Democratic Party’s economic policies were detrimental for not only black Americans, but all Americans!
Their socialist policies have managed to create a permanent underclass of poor blacks dependent on government programs and entitlements for survival. Their policies have done what 400 years of slavery couldn’t do; destroy the black family. The government has replaced the father in many poor black households by promising young mothers that they would provide for her and her children and pay her bills, as long as the father was not in the home. Their policies have discouraged work by providing greater benefits and incentives for staying home. Their policies have supported the genocide of black babies through the public funding of “murder on demand” corporations such as Planned Parenthood. Their policies have turned affirmative action into an unfair quota system that discriminates against white men and at the same time puts into question the qualifications and merit of accomplished blacks. After learning all this, I remembered on several occasions telling my husband, “You know I’m a Republican on paper. I like the party but not the people. They are spot on point and I agree with most of what they’re saying, but I will not vote for any of those racists.”
I was almost free, but the great escape didn’t come without challenge. After all that I had learned, I still wanted a reason to vote Democrat because I subconsciously feared going against my cultural norm. I had just the reason. Republicans were racist and did NOT want me to be a part of their party! Though I had seen those black Republican weirdo sell-outs on TV (through sound bites played on MSNBC), it wasn’t until my first personal encounter with a black Republican, a friend and co-worker, that I would finally break the Democratic stronghold, break free from the groupthink politics that have left blacks politically inept; escape the mental slavery that the modern day plantation of “free entitlements” and “government help” have used to entice many into laziness, dependency, and unproductivity. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were starting to lose their grip on me.
HELP FROM A FRIEND
My dear conservative friend introduced me to some historical facts about the Democratic Party that helped push me to research for myself whether or not the claims he made were true. What I learned crushed my beliefs that the Republican Party was full of racists who were trying to hold the black man down. What I learned left me with no affinity for my inherited party; I was left, finally, with NO good reason to vote Democrat.
What I found out in my quest for political clarity was that the Republican party passed EVERY civil rights legislation in regard to black Americans, including the 1964 civil rights act and 1965 voting rights act, which was signed by a Democrat president but only passed because of a Republican congress’ overwhelming support. Most Democrats in congress opposed it. Republicans passed the 13th amendment, freeing black slaves; the 14th amendment, giving blacks their citizenship; the 15th amendment, granting blacks the right to vote. Even still, whenever Democrats would take back control of the white house and congress, they would prevent blacks from buying land, they denied them fair wages for their work, and they undid many of the civil rights advancements of the Republicans.
Republicans were largely responsible for promoting and defending the civil rights of blacks while Democrats fought to lynch us, enslave us, and keep us as second-class citizens. I discovered that even civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was Republican and so was abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Other abolitionists, both black and white, were Republican. In fact, I learned that the Republican Party (initially comprised of Democrats, Whigs, and Free Soil party members) was established in 1854 as the anti-slavery party; they opposed the spreading of slavery into free states.
I had always been told that white people were the ones who upheld slavery and fought to keep black people down. I had never heard the political aspect of the civil rights controversy. White people who identified themselves as Republican (most also identified themselves as Protestant Christians or Evangelicals) fought to free black slaves. They clearly identified their enemy as Democrat, or Southern Democrat, the ones who wanted to maintain and spread slavery. John Mark Reynolds once said of the Republican Party, “When it came time to confront the original sin of the nation—slavery—the Republican Party was on the Lord’s side.” Once they were granted the right to vote, blacks voted Republican and worked alongside white Republicans to advance our freedom in this country.
THE DEMOCRAT PARTY’S SHAMEFUL PAST
To my great surprise, I found out that it was the Southern Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery. As Francis Rice has said, ”They were the ones who passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. They started the Ku Klux Klan (the terrorist wing of the Democrat party) to lynch and terrorize blacks. They fought against the passage of every single civil rights law from the 1800’s through the 1960’s.”
I began watching other news outlets, those besides CNN and MSNBC, to get other perspectives on current events. I discovered that there was such a thing as a “liberal media” and it had an agenda; when the facts were not on their side, they changed the subject and called Republicans racist. Their strategy was very effective. I was bamboozled for years! I have since read the party platforms for myself, starting from their inceptions to the present day for both the Democrat and Republican parties. In the platforms, the facts speak for themselves. I even observed, within the platforms, the exact time period when the Democrats jumped on the civil rights bandwagon, something the Republicans had been pushing for over 100 years. Beginning in the 1950’s, the Democrats proposed to throw tons of government money into poor inner-city communities and offer other government “helps.” By the 1960’s they offered to provide welfare to young mothers and their children, requiring no work, as long as the father was not in the home.
The civil rights agenda met harsh resistance from most Democrats and the party struggled on whether or not they should include civil rights as part of their platform goals. They eventually agreed to do so, but with all of the wrong motivation. Blacks were gaining number and political power (able to provide a candidate with enough votes to win the presidency), and the civil rights agenda was not going away but instead gaining popularity; Democrats had to give blacks something. Not that they wanted blacks to be equal, but they wanted to give them enough to get them to voting Democrat so that Democrats could stay in power. When Republicans were unwilling to be frivolous with taxpayer dollars by robbing one group of people to pay for, by another group of people, a host of government funded programs, Democrats were dishonest and said to blacks, Republicans don’t want to help you. They don’t want to help poor people. Republicans proposed other ideas to help combat poverty; most involved hard work, education, business ownership, and minimal aid from the government. Those ideas were overshadowed by the powerful attraction that free money had over people that were struggling to make ends meet. Despite the pleading of the Republican Party, which at the time still held the black vote, poor blacks took the bait. They were above all glad that Democrats were no longer interested in terrorizing and lynching them, and almost equally as ecstatic that they would be getting “help” from the government.
Eventually the message became, “Republicans are racist.” That message has stuck and resonated within black communities for the past 40 plus years.
It’s important for not only black Americans, but all Americans to know the political history of this nation. Why? Because as Woodrow Wilson wisely stated, “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.” I thank God for freedom to think for myself, freedom to vote my values, freedom to truly participate in democracy and government. I thank God that I no longer vote out of tradition but because of conviction.
NO POLITICAL PARTY IS A SAVIOR
As a Christian, I know that the Republican Party is not a savior. It can’t save us. Government can’t save us. There is no such thing as perfect politics or perfect political parties because political parties are made up of imperfect and sinful people. The Republican Party is not without its faults and flaws for sure. And as a Christian, I don’t put my trust in a political party, whose doctrines and philosophies may change with the people, but I put my trust in God who is unchanging. With that being said, I have not yet attained paradise so I must continue living until I’m called home or Christ returns, loosely holding to the doctrines of my imperfect political philosophy (for God is neither Republican nor Democrat), all the while hoping my political inclinations are on the Lord’s side. I don’t believe for one minute that God sides with either Democrats or Republicans, but it is up to Democrats and Republicans to side with God and stand against sin, much in the way the Republicans did when they stood against slavery.
Some issues are debatable; who has the best ideas to combat poverty, who has the best views on foreign affairs, etc., but other issues are not –the murdering of innocent preborn children is always wrong.
BLACKS IN AMERICA
Concerning blacks in this nation; they have been used for political expediency, sometimes by friends and sometimes by foes. Blacks, among other minorities have been and still are discriminated against; however, blacks need not continue blaming the sin of racism for their failures. We don’t need a racist to do anything for us but stay out of our way and allow us the same opportunity as everyone else to obtain success. We should readily embrace the freedom that we have in this country to both fail and succeed; freedom that was fought long and hard for. Some of us will have great success and others will struggle.
The beauty of Democracy is; we are all free. One who is born into poverty has an opportunity to become rich, and yet a rich man may also one day find himself impoverished. Nothing is guaranteed. Only in socialist and communist countries is equality of outcome promised. For many reasons that I won’t discuss here, socialism and communism don’t work. Government is not our provider; we as a people have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, and our neighbors. Even Christ taught personal responsibility and didn’t require anything of the government, not even charity! That’s OUR individual responsibility towards our brothers and sisters, and fellow man. Christ didn’t teach covetousness or redistribution of wealth.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
Government does have its proper place. Biblically speaking, government was instituted by God to punish evil (1 Peter 2:13-15) and administer justice (Romans 13). Our U.S. constitution grants government the authority to protect individual freedoms and promote the general well-being of society. The government wasn’t designed to provide for people, but to allow people to provide for themselves. The legislative branch, for example, was given certain powers by the people to collect taxes, pay debts, borrow money, establish post offices and roads, appoint lower courts, declare war, raise armies, navies, militias, and legislate over Washington D.C., to name a few. We must keep the role of government in perspective, lest we the people give government so much power that we all end up slaves.
That is why Republicans opposed big government and government control. They knew, as well as this nation’s founding fathers– a government with too much power could oppress certain groups of people and strip away their individual freedoms. The Republicans of old wanted government to stay out of their lives because the government was the one who would strip their freedom and legislate through congress their demise. They just wanted to be left alone and have equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.
Those racist men and women who sought to terrorize and oppress blacks did not uphold the principle in the Declaration of Independence that stated that all men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That’s what the civil rights fight was about—equality. People fought and died to preserve and defend it. Numerous black slaves left plantations with nothing more than the clothes on their backs yet they did not let discrimination or racism define them. Instead, they pursued freedom and the responsibility that came with it; they sought to make themselves valuable to society and wanted government to get out of their way and stop preventing their forward momentum. That’s what the civil rights fight was all about—equality of opportunity.
Many ex-slaves taught themselves how to read and write, became congressmen and legislators, doctors, lawyers, farmers, and businessmen. Many were writers, teachers, and various professionals. With the help of countless others, they fought to advance freedom for not only blacks but all groups of people in this country. Blacks would often make progress but would have that progress undermined when certain racists gained control of congress and the white house.
WHERE BLACK AMERICANS ARE TODAY
Ever since we as a people switched loyalty from the party that fought to get us and keep us free, we are no better off, and in many ways we are more depraved. Today we have more black on black crime, black men and women in prison, teen pregnancies, fatherless homes, high black unemployment (over 16% today under a black president). Black and White Republicans in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, which at the time nearly all blacks were Republican, warned of this very day. They warned that the Democrats proposed government-run housing projects which are currently inner-city slums and the abuse of government assistance programs (in which Republicans pushed for long and hard for welfare reform) would create a permanent underclass of minorities; dependent, unproductive, and impoverished.
Today many poor blacks look to the government to provide for them. Some look to our first black president to fix all of their economic woes. What they have failed to realize is that President Obama and his policies are exasperating their economic troubles. The facts speak for themselves.
Economically, blacks are hit harder than whites. Unemployment is higher, life expectancy is lower, yet our black socialist president gets a free pass. Democrats for the past 40 years have run nearly every inner-city in America, many with black police chiefs, mayors, legislators, etc. yet we are no better off. No complaints from the black community. Black leaders blame the rich (who by the way are the job creators) for not paying enough. They expect the rich to create jobs, keep prices low, endure the demands of unions and government regulations, pay high wages, and pay high taxes! Alas, when some are fortunate enough to start their own business, they cry foul because the demands that they voted for are unreasonable!
Yet at every election cycle, you can be sure to see black Democratic leaders promising minorities free or low cost housing, free health insurance, jobs and everything else in exchange for a vote. They fail to tell the poor that none of that stuff is free, somebody is paying. Secondly, they fail to mention that businesses create jobs, not government. If they supported small business development through incentives like low taxes, more jobs would be available to them. Many poor blacks and other minority groups depend too heavily on government for survival and many truly believe that they are owed something, that someone has to give them something, that they don’t have to endure the responsibility that is conjoined with freedom.
I do agree that many government programs, such as those to help the homeless and orphans, the sick and the elderly, are good and necessary humanitarian aids for the good of society. Republican presidents such as President Bush have done more than most to responsibly aid the most impoverished people, black and white, in this nation. But like Republicans have argued, perpetual dependency on government aid drains societal resources and places an undue burden on taxpayers. It is not good for a progressive people and it is counterintuitive to productivity and self-reliance.
Reflecting, I can clearly see that fear played a part in preventing me from voting my values; every black I knew who didn’t drink the Democrat Kool-Aid and DARED to identify themselves with another party, or even worse, the Republican party, was labeled by other black Democrats as an Uncle Tom (even though Uncle Tom, a fictional character, was a hero in his story), a sellout, or a house negro. Additionally, I simply didn’t have enough information. Politics was a puzzle that I did not have enough pieces to. Not saying I have all the pieces now; like so many things in life, politics is not simply black and white. There are gray areas; many ways to combat our nation’s problems and no one party has all the answers or even the right answers. No one political party has a claim on morality, no one political party has all the right solutions for poverty, crime, and foreign relations. And despite the Democrat party’s shameful racist past, no one party is free of racism. Racism exists within all political parties because some of the people who make up the parties suffer the disease of racism. We live in a democracy and racists are allowed a vote too.
Today, I feel I am a much more informed voter today than I ever was. Knowledge is power; its freedom. Yet, heartbreaking to me is that many of my black peers look upon my freedom of political choice with disdain.
It disturbs me that many of blacks who vote Democrat do so out of tradition. I was one of them. It bothers me that the Democratic Party takes our vote for granted in many of the same ways (and to their failure) that the Republican Party did in times past. Democrats are allowed to be openly racist without consequence or reprisal from blacks. Successful black Republicans such as retired four-star general and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice have been disrespected, their names have been slandered, and their characters have assassinated by both black and white Democrats. They have been called Uncle Toms, Aunt Mamie, and house niggers. Blacks would be totally offended if these same names were directed at black Americans who were not Republican.
I have learned a lot about both political parties and enough to know that when given the choice between Democrat and Republican, I choose the latter. There are many myths out there—and many reasons blacks say they don’t vote Republican—Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy, the old Republicans are the new Democrats, Republicans are racists. . . I could go on and on. Whatever their reason, so be it. But as I have concluded, the values of the Republican Party of old have never changed. From their beginning they have stood for small government, personal responsibility, low taxes, religious freedom, free enterprise, and adherence to the constitution.
I will end by saying this. Though I was born and raised a Democrat, I am proud to say that today I am a free thinking American who chooses to vote her values. And though I may not agree with every Republican, or every Republican idea, as of now, the Republican Party is my home.
America’s God and Country, Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer
Back to Basics for the Republican Party by Michael Zak
Bamboozled: How Americans are being Exploited by the Lies of the Liberal Agenda by Angela McGlowan
Capitol Men, the Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray
Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem
Liberating Black Theology, The Bible and the Black Experience in America by Anthony B. Bradley
Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (a reprint of an 1848 original) by Wallbuilders Press
Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 by Eric Foner
The Big Black Lie, How I Learned the Truth About the Democrat Party by Kevin Jackson
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Wrong on Race, The Democratic Party’s Buried Past by Bruce Bartlett
Republican Review of America, www.republicanreviewofamerica.com
The Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York, www.fdfny.org
National Black Republicans Association, www.nbra.info